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EQMI Hosts 2018 Fall Reception Oct. 5

By |2018-09-26T14:23:16-04:00September 26th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Following with tradition, LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Michigan is slated to host their annual 2018 Fall Reception event on Friday, Oct. 5. It will feature not only a new Bridge Builder Award but 2018 Olympic bronze medalist Adam Rippon as its keynote speaker. Development Manager for Equality Michigan Charlie Howard-Putnam said he’s excited about both Rippon’s appearance and the opportunity for the LGBTQ community to familiarize themselves with local politics.
“His activism during the Olympic games and since has been a true inspiration in the LGBTQ community. His honest and genuine ability to speak the truth and show the world his authentic self is inspiring people across Detroit and the world to do the same,” he said of Rippon, adding that he was the perfect choice for the Fall Reception. “The tone and the focus of this party is to get political leaders to get to know the LGBTQ community in a more personal way. And, it’s for the LGBTQ community to get to know the politicians so we can advance LGBTQ civil rights.”
This year, the event recipient of the newly-created Bridge Builder Award will be CMS Energy Corporation and Consumers Energy Company President and CEO Patti Poppe.
“And we’re thrilled to have Jim Fitterling the Chief Executive Officer of Dow Chemical Company who is coming to present her with the award,” Howard-Putnam said. “One of maybe just two (openly gay) CEOs of a Fortune 500 company, he’s is truly setting an example for companies around the world and the LGBTQ community.”
The event this year is sponsored by Consumers Energy, Dow Chemical Company and DTE Energy. In addition to Poppe’s award, four other “standout members of the LGBTQ community” will be honored at the Fall Reception.
“Our Change Maker Award is for somebody who has been making change in our community for a long period of time. That’s going to Melvin L. Larsen who is the co-author of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. Our Youth Award is going to a young trans woman of color for her activism and leadership in the community, and she works with the Ruth Ellis Center and her name is Brandi Smith,” Howard-Putnam said. “Our McAllister Award is going to Adrian Goodstal. She partnered with Equality Michigan to help us open the first dedicated shelter to trans adults in the Michigan area. It’s called Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids. Our Catalyst Award is going to Alma Wheeler Smith for getting us the biggest win to date for LGBTQ civil rights. She currently is working with the Michigan Civil Rights Commission.”
Howard-Putnam said that this year is promising to be the best-attended yet, with a consistent trend of healthy increases year after year.
“I think something that’s really important is that when we relaunched our event in 2016 we had about 200 attendees,” he said. “Last year we raised that up to 300 attendees and this year, we’re hoping to exceed 400 attendees. We’re growing fast and I think that growth shows something.”
To find out more information about the Fall Reception and how to donate to Equality Michigan’s cause, go online to equalitymi.org.

About the Author:

Eve Kucharski
As news and feature editor at Between The Lines, Eve Kucharski's work has spanned the realms of current events and entertainment. She's chatted with stars like Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho and Tyler Oakley as well as political figures like Gloria Steinem, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel. Her coverage of the November 2018 elections was also featured in a NowThis News report.